Written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is a spin-off of the Harry Potter phenomenon.
In giving us a prequel to the Harry Potter universe, Rowling takes us on an adventure with super-geek Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards. A powerful wizard is causing trouble, but other forces are also at work. This story is set seventy years before we see Harry Potter reading Scamander’s book while studying at Hogwarts.
Redmayne is such a talented actor that he makes it appear as if this part was made for him. Almost deceptively, he’s working incredibly hard to build recognisable characterisations that really bring Scamander to life. Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol (as the Goldstein sisters) are quirky choices as lead female characters but they both hold their own on screen. Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) is incredibly likeable and provides most of the humour – along with the light-fingered half mole/half platypus beast known as a niffler. Perhaps the unexpected revelation is Colin Farrell (Percival Graves) – dashingly handsome and believably menacing.